The Tshwane University of Technology may have lost their opening encounter 33-23 against trans-Jukskei neighbours the University of Johannesburg, but will no longer carry the tag of Varsity Cup whipping boys after an otherwise impeccable performance.
UJ were trailing for most of the match, but through two late tries by replacement Earl Lewis and lock Jaco Swanepoel secured a very important bonus-point in the process.
The visitor were the dominant side in the opening quarter, but although they enjoyed the lions share of territory and possession, had to settle for three points coming from the boot of flyhalf Theuns Kotze to get on the scoreboard.
Commitment in defence was one of the most notable improvements in the TUT squad which looks poised to upset some of the big names in the competition.
The hosts responded to UJ's impressive speed out wide by applying pressure at the breakdowns and were also awarded their first kick at goal because of success at this facet of the game.
Flyhalf Ruan Boshoff kicked the penalty that was to be the easiest he had all night.
His second shot at goal was not in the same category as he landed a long-range missile from 55 metres out to give his side a somewhat undeserved lead.
One of the standout players for UJ in this period was scrumhalf Danny Botha who, like an energetic fox-terrier, kept the TUT playmakers in check while also causing all sorts of trouble with ball in hand.
The breakdowns continued to be a grey are for most of the match with the hosts being less guilty of diving in.
Boshoff later squandered two relatively easy kicks both the result of breakdown infringements and instead had to watch his men turn their backs as the Johannesburg squad took play back into their 22.
The TUT wall of resistance held up under intense pressure which was an amazing feat after skipper Wikus Botes was yellow-carded.
As Botes left the field, Kotze levelled the scores and with 15 minutes left in the first half, tension stared building.
It was again a case of TUT making best use of turnover possession while UJ dominated.
Minutes before the break the Vikings converted a half-chance when wing Andisa Ngobo picked up and raced through to score the first try of the match.
All of a sudden it was the men in orange who looked in trouble as the came out trailing 13-6 at the break.
Another fumble by the UJ backs delivered the same result it did before the interval and this time flank Vince Gwavu produced the goods.
Gwavus presence at the rucks was impressive throughout the evening.
The UJ squad were, however, not about to take it lying down and the impressive form of their pack helped cement the first five-pointer which was scored by centre Harry Collins.
Throughout the match, both sides did well in retaining possession from their own set-pieces -- taking into account that the occasional blunder was bound to happen in the first match of the year.
At the end, the experience within the UJ squad shone though as the hosts started to struggle keeping up with the high tempo of the match.
Coach Hugo van As changes during final water-break would prove to be crucial to the result.
Replacement Earl Lewis, another former SA Schools and Lions player in the team, scored the try which handed the Jo'burg squad the lead for the first time since the opening five-minutes of the match.
Flank Justin Wheeler then proved his pedigree and sealed the deal for the visitors.
Despite the 10 point difference on the scoreboard, TUT will look back at the FNB Varsity Cup opener as one they should have, and could have won.
For FNB TUT:
Tries: Gqobo, Gwavu
Pens: Boshoff 3
For FNB UJ:
Tries: Collins, Wheeler, Lewis, Swanepoel
Cons: Kotze 2
Pens: Kotze 3
TUT: 15 Justin van Staden, 14 Andisa Gqobo, 13 Hansie Graaff, 12 Lutho Nyeka, 11 Thom Seabela, 10 Ruan Boshoff, 9 Ettienne Greeff, 8 Wikus Botes (captain), 7 Emile Verster, 6 Vince Gwavu, 5 JJ Breet, 4 Dries Ferreira, 3 Juan-Phillip Pike, 2 Johan Pieterse, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Eugene Cunha, 17 Anton Krynauw, 18 Julian Erasmus, 19 Wessel Cronjé, 20 Manny Raposso, 21 Simphiwe Mtimkulu, 22 Ruan van Loo, 23 Jan Scheepers.
UJ: 15 Aubrey McDonald, 14 Wigan Pekeur, 13 Harry Collins, 12 Luan Steenkamp, 11 Lolo Waka, 10 Theuns Kotze, 9 Daniel Botha, 8 Quintin Minnaar, 7 Justin Wheeler (captain), 6 Johan van Deventer, 5 Marnus van Huyssteen, 4 Jacobus Swanepoel, 3 Jaco Vermeulen, 2 Francois du Toit, 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 George Ries, 17 Ollie Terblanche, 18 Philippus Cordier, 19 Wendal Wehr, 20 Divan van Zyl, 21 André Smith, 22 Earl Lewis, 23 Anthony Gallacher.
Referee: Archie Sehlako